TOURCODE 51939 (LHE-EN) Description
The Hinterland Explorer tour offers a truly unique opportunity to see Laos, from the regal beauty of Luang Prabang, a Unesco World Heritage Site to the rural villages where you stay the night with an authentic local family.
A trip to Laos, the realm of "A Million Elephants", the former Kingdom of Lan Xang, the warm heart of Indochina, whatever you call it, the land remains something truly special. Our exhilarating tour through Northern Laos is ideal for the active visitor and traveler who wants to get a glimpse behind the curtain. We embark on a journey of discovery through the history, culture and Lao way of life between village and city life, modernity and history.
Combining a FairTrek, Kayaking, biking and elephant experience this tour shows all the adventure that Laos has to offer. With the option to include a two day Mekong cruise to the Thai border this complete adventure brings together the best of Laos.
- Tour the morning market, National Museum, Wat Mai, Wat Xieng Thong -- all by bike
- Visit Wat Visoun and the Traditional Arts and Ethnology Center
- Enjoy elephant riding at The Elephant Village
- Kayaking on the Nam Khan River
- Take part in a FairTrek and stay overnight in a rural village
Day 1 Luang Prabang Arrival (D)
We'll pick you up at the airport transfer you to your hotel. Depending on your arrival time we’ll go to lunch and/or take a short city tour visiting Wat Mai, Phousi Mountain and the Night Market.
Day 2 Luang Prabang by Bike (B/L)
Begin exploring this wonderful town with your guide on a morning bike ride, starting with the local morning market where you can see the locals getting their daily supplies. The tour will continue with visits to the National Museum (closed on Tuesday and Sunday afternoon), Wat Mai and Wat Xieng Thong. Here you'll learn about Lao history and the kingdoms which ruled this place in former times. For lunch our guide will recommend a few great restaurants where you can sample Lao food.
In the afternoon you'll visit Wat Visoun, which dates back to the 16th century, before heading to the Traditional Arts and Ethnology Center where you'll gain a deeper understanding of the ethnic diversity in Laos today. After returning the bikes we'll ascend Phousi Mountain to marvel at the sunset over town before descending into the colorfully-lit tents of the Night Market to shop for handmade crafts
Day 3 Biking and Elephant Experience (B/L/D)
We begin our journey into the Laos Hinterland, setting out from town on mountain bikes towards the Elephant Village. On our way through the Lao countryside, we'll see farmers cultivating the land, forests of teakwood, distant mountain vistas, and the smiles of the locals who are in turn curious about their observers. Upon reaching Elephant Village, a beautiful, idyllic place in the center of the magnificent mountain jungle landscape. We'll stop for lunch before begining our elephant experience which will include an introduction to the elephants and their Mahouts (trainers) and an elephant ride
Later, a boat ride takes you to the cascade of the Tad Sae waterfall where we can take a refreshing swim (waterfall dry Feb - July). After a short hiking trail in the afternoon we meet our host family in a small Laotian hilltribe village. Here we are invited to cook, eat, and converse together until you are ready for bed.
Day 4 Kayaking and Trekking Towards Luang Prabang (B/L)
Awakened early by the roosters in the village, we start our hike through the hilly landscape of Laos. On the trek between Hmong and Khmu hilltribe villages, there is much to see and learn. We have the unique opportunity to share the cultures of rural life of the Lao as we observe the lifestyles of the Hmong and Khmu. There are many trails to choose from, depending on your stamina - some shorter and others longer.
In the afternoon we paddle back to Luang Prabang in kayaks along the Nam Khan. Kayaking this small river is a cool and relaxing way to end these 2 days of adventure. Overnight in a guesthouse in Luang Prabang.
Day 5 Follow the Nam Ou River to Nong Khaiw (B)
The trip to Nong Khiaw takes us from Luang Prabang out into the stunning scenery of northern Laos. Together with locals and other travelers on the bus (public van), we wind our way through the countryside. The journey takes us into the sparsely populated north of Laos where we can stop to visit the villages and hilltribes along the way
Upon reaching Nong Khiaw, a town dominated by stunning limestone formations we have the opportunity to visit the historical caves which played a major role in the Indochina War. In the evening we'll enjoy the scenery along the river and overnight in Nong Khiaw at a rustic local guesthouse. (B)
Day 6 FairTrek and Homestay (B/L/D)
Today we set out on a FairTrek to Ban Na Luang. The FairTrek Initiative aims to give back to local communities and encourage conservation through responsible tourism. By taking part in a FairTrek and homestay you will be giving back to the local villages through the FairTrek Fund whilst enjoying an authentic cultural exchange.
The trek takes around 2-3 hours and is suitable for most levels of fitness.
In the ethnically diverse village of Ban Na Luang, we can learn about the local traditions and the lifestyle of the local population. The Lao Looum and Lao Soung represent different ethnic minority groups and we can experience the differences while we stay at their homes here for the night.
The landscape is dominated by rice fields and stunning rock formations, making this a beautiful natural environment to spend the evening..
Day 7 Nam Ou Cruise and Return to Luang Prabang (B/L)
Today we'll take a small path to another village where we'll take a short break before we board a traditional boat to bring us back to Nong Khiaw on the Nam Ou river before getting on the local bus that will take us back to Luang Prabang. Arrive in Luang Prabang by late afternoon and overnight at a guesthouse.
Day 8 Luang Prabang Exploration (B)
Take the day to explore the charming city of Luang Prabang. Having been listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site for twenty years Luang Prabang retains it's Royal Lao splendor and stunning French inspired architecture. Relax by the Mekong or maybe take a cooking class.
For guests enjoying the 8 Day tour our services end here.
Day 9 Cruising the Mekong
Today we will welcome you aboard a traditional Laos Slowboat for the trip on the Mekong River into the north of Laos. This majestic river flows from the Tibetan Plateau through China, Burma, Thailand, Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam. Along the way we take the time to visit the local villages and the famous Pak Ou Caves, which thrills both tourists and devout worshipers with its hundreds of Buddha statues of all styles and sizes. Mekong cruise arrives in Pakbeng in the late afternoon where you'll stay the night.
Day 10 Continue your Mekong Cruise
In today's leg of the trip on the Mekong we watch forests, villages, and bright green landscapes as we cruise along the river. The tranquility and the rural life on the banks impresses visitors again and again. In addition to the water buffalo, you can sometimes even see working elephants on the banks of the Mekong River, a truly special sight. We'll enjoy a village life visit along the way before we finish this wonderful Mekong tour in Houay Xai, the border town to Thailand.
Included Travel Services
- All sightseeing as described in program above
- Transportation as listed
- Accommodation in hotels (twin shared)
- English speaking guide
- Admission fees to sights described above
- Meals: B= breakfast, L= lunch, D= dinner
- Lao PDR governmental tax and service charge
- Luggage handing
Not Included Travel Services
- International air tickets to/from Lao PDR
- Visa fee (approximately US$30/pax, depending on nationality)
- Travel insurance of any kind
- Meals not mentioned in itinerary
- Tips, drinks, personal expenses and other expenses not described in the program above
- Single room surcharge on request
Accessibility: Our trips are generally unsuitable for people with reduced mobility and other disabilities. Please contact us to discuss if this trip is suitable for your specific requirements.